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An MMA fighter, a mafia frat house, and a small town murder mystery

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The books on our radar this week take us across the pond for something of an American road trip which includes a sports mystery and a dodgy college fraternity, before heading down to Virginia for a small town murder. We round things off with some secrets and lies that are bound to have explosive consequences if Harlan Coben has anything to do with it…

Suckerpunch by Jeremy Brown
Aaron ‘Woodshed’ Marshall is a heavyweight mixed martial artist with a criminal past and a burning ambition to break out of the lower level MMA competition. So, when he’s offered the chance to fight a rising heavyweight star, he jumps at it. However, the night before the fight a small time con from his past resurfaces only to be kidnapped by a bookie who hopes to cash in on Marshall winning the fight. Knowing it will bring him into contact with villains from his past and potentially end his career, Marshall is nonetheless determined to rescue him.

The Dean’s List by Jimmy Petrosino
Dean Perrasani is president of Phi Beta Regnum. To outsiders it’s just your average college campus fraternity. In reality it’s a crime syndicate established by one of the world’s most ruthless mobsters, Alfred Calarone. Dean must run the fraternity like a mafia don, but he believes that it can be run as a legitimate business. However, with power comes the threat of being overthrown. Dean must be careful who he trusts if he is to achieve his master plan – to exact revenge on those responsible for the murder of his brother Tyler. Apparently this book is proving popular with college students.

Marcie’s Murder by Michael J McCann
Our third book takes us to Virginia and the first in a mystery series featuring criminal investigators, Hank Donaghue and Karen Stainer. Homicide Lieutenant Donaghue is normally the one investigating murders, but during a holiday stop-over in the small town of Harmony, a young woman is found strangled and he finds himself labelled the prime suspect in her murder. Trapped in a cell with all of the evidence stacked against him, when he’s finally allowed to make his phone call, there’s only one person who can get him out of this mess, fellow police officer Detective Karen Stainer.

Stay Close by Harlan Coben
Take three very different people – a soccer mom, a photographer, and a detective who can’t let go of a cold case. All three are dissatisfied with the lives they’re living. Then mix in secrets from their past lives that they’ve managed to keep hidden. Set them on a collision course where their past and present lives meet, then sit back and watch as the consequences begin to unfold. Harlan Coben’s latest thriller takes the American Dream and then reveals its dark side.

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